Legion benefit Oct. 27

By on October 10, 2012

By: TIFFANY WOODALL Review Staff twoodall.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

Il Jun Chon is a doctor by day, singer by night. Or, at least he will be Oct. 27 when he and vocal coach Vickie Kissinger perform a benefit concert at the American Legion.

Chon, who practices internal medicine at Ephrata Diagnostics Center and Ephrata Community Hospital, has been tuning his vocal chords for almost two years. Kissinger told him it was time he put his practice to the test, he said.

"I’m very proud of my student," said Kissinger. "That’s why I said I think it’s time for him to break in. He got his feet wet a little bit, now I think it’s time for him to do a show."

The benefit will begin at 7 p.m. and all proceeds will be donated to the American Legion.

"It turned out that my neighbor used to be the former president of the American Legion here," said Chon. "I asked him, ‘How are you doing financially?’ and his answer was ‘Not really good.’" That’s when Chon decided his show should act as a fundraiser for the organization.

Chon and Kissinger will perform solos and duets at the event, which will be held in the Legion ballroom. Listeners can expect to be entertained by such classics as Etta James’ "At Last" and "Stormy Weather," as well as "All I Ask of You" from Broadway’s "Phantom of the Opera," plus other jazz, blues, country and pop favorites.

"Singers are storytellers," said Kissinger. And the story of this benefit is one of appreciation for American veterans.

"I was born in South Korea," said Chon. "Should the American veterans not been there, there would be no South Korea right now. Because the American veterans sacrificed, I’m here because of them right now, in a way. My mother wouldn’t be here, my family wouldn’t be here." Chon believes his educational and professional opportunities were made possible by American veterans, and he is looking forward to giving back, he said.

Kissinger agrees. Her father served during the Korean War, and her uncles served during World War II.

"I just think that the veterans get very overlooked, and very taken for granted," she said. "Especially when I’m down at the Veteran’s Affairs, and I see the people that are there, and no one comes to see them, they’re just there."

The duo hopes for a sold out show.

"Along with expectation comes the angst of getting things ready," said Chon. "At the moment, it is kind of exciting to put a show on, and it is my first time, so hopefully it will go well. Hopefully we’ll have enough folks out there to support the event. We need folks to come out and enjoy and help out at the same time."

Kissinger, a music educator, is also the winner of this year’s PA State Senior Idol competition. In addition to teaching piano and voice lessons, she plays the organ at Ephrata Church of the Brethren and St. John Center Lutheran Church, East Earl.

Chon attended Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and has been an internist in Ephrata for 11 years.

Tickets to the benefit are $10 per person or $18 per couple and may be purchased in advance at the American Legion, 100 Calico St., or at Dr. Chon’s office, 808 Pleasantview Drive. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the American Legion at 733-2576, or Dr. Chon’s office at 733-6546. For more information, call 721-6434. More BENEFIT, page A16

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